Preprints are valid research outputs for REF2021 – ASAPbio

“In conversations about preprints in the UK, the question is often raised: ‘are preprints included in REF?’ In brief: yes. This is most likely to be applicable for any research manuscript that is prepared close to the REF2021 submission deadline, and is deemed to be amongst your best work in the current cycle, but which would otherwise not be eligible for REF2021 due to not having time to be published in a journal before the deadline.

The Research Excellence Framework (or REF) is the exercise the UK higher education funding bodies undertake periodically to assess UK research institutions for excellence and impact of research outputs. The REF scores determine allocation of approximately £2bn/year national funding for research, so REF is a major driver of UK institutional policy and researcher behaviour.  Learn more about REF at the end of the post.

Below, we describe how preprints can be included in REF submissions, with extracts from the official REF guidance. …”

Minister Halligan launches framework encouraging open research environment – TechCentral.ie

“Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research & Development, John Halligan, has launched Ireland’s National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment.

Prepared by the National Open Research Forum (NORF), the framework was a response to developments in open research, both in the EU and internationally.

Open research refers to the movement towards more transparent, collaborative, accessible and efficient research.

The frameworks objective is to enhance the integrity, public trust and excellence in research across all disciplines. Its principles are to support access to research funded by the Irish government, improve the free flow of information across research communities, and boost transparency, accountability and public awareness of the results of publicly funded research. This is aligned with European Commission policy that has devloped in this area. It makes recommendations on a range of topics, including open access to research data, the preservation and reuse of scientific information, skills and competencies and incentives and rewards….”

National Framework on Transition to an Open Research Environment unveiled

“Minister John Halligan has launched Ireland’s National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment….

The National Framework is a key deliverable of the National Open Research Forum (NORF), which was set up in 2017 to bring together key members of the research community to drive Ireland’s open research agenda as set out in Innovation 2020, Ireland’s research and development, science and technology strategy.

Patricia Clarke of the Health Research Board and co-chair of the NORF said: “The National Framework is a clear statement of intent by the Irish research community to take practical steps to embed open research in Ireland….

The framework is aligned with emerging European Union policy and includes principles on: open access to publications; enabling FAIR[1] research data; underpinning infrastructures for access to and preservation of research; development of skills and competencies, and incentives and rewards for open research within research evaluation processes.

The framework will open up access to publicly funded research in Ireland and support research excellence across all disciplines. Open Research will be a requirement of the next EU Framework Programme, Horizon Europe, and Irish researchers and institutions need to be ready….”

Credit data generators for data reuse

“Much effort has gone towards crafting mandates and standards for researchers to share their data13. Considerably less time has been spent measuring just how valuable data sharing is, or recognizing the scientific contributions of the people responsible for those data sets. The impact of research continues to be measured by primary publications, rather than by subsequent uses of the data….

To incentivize the sharing of useful data, the scientific enterprise needs a well-defined system that links individuals with reuse of data sets they generate4….

A system in which researchers are regularly recognized for generating data that become useful to other researchers could transform how academic institutions evaluate faculty members’ contributions to science….”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“Evaluating research and assessing researchers is fundamental to the research enterprise and core to the activities of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities. The European University Association (EUA) and Science Europe are committed to building a strong dialogue between their members, who share the responsibility of developing and implementing more accurate, open, transparent and responsible approaches, that better reflect the evolution of research activity in the digital era.

Today, the outcomes of scholarly research are often measured through methods based on quantitative, albeit approximate, indicators such as the journal impact factor. There is a need to move away from reductionist ways of assessing research, as well as to establish systems that better assess research potential. Universities, research funders and research performing organisations are well-placed to explore new and improved research assessment approaches, while also being indispensable in turning these innovations into systemic reforms….”

How to avoid borrowed plumes in academia

Abstract:  Publications in top journals today have a powerful influence on academic careers although there is much criticism of using journal rankings to evaluate individual articles. We ask why this practice of performance evaluation is still so influential. We suggest this is the case because a majority of authors benefit from the present system due to the extreme skewness of citation distributions. “Performance paradox” effects aggravate the problem. Three extant suggestions for reforming performance management are critically discussed. We advance a new proposal based on the insight that fundamental uncertainty is symptomatic for scholarly work. It suggests focal randomization using a rationally founded and well-orchestrated procedure.

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“EUA and Science Europe are committed to working together on building a strong dialogue between their members, with a view to:

• support necessary changes for a better balance between qualitative and quantitative research assessment approaches, aiming at evaluating the merits of scholarly research. Furthermore, novel criteria and methods need to be developed towards a fairer and more transparent assessment of research, researchers and research teams, conducive to selecting excellent proposals and researchers.governments and public authorities to guarantee scholars and students the rights that constitute academic freedom, including the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, thought, information and assembly as well as the rights to education and teaching;

• recognise the diversity of research outputs and other relevant academic activities and their value in a manner that is appropriate to each research field and that challenges the overreliance on journal-based metrics.universities, funding agencies, academies and other research organisations to ensure that all researchers, teachers and students are guaranteed academic freedom, by fostering a culture in which free expression and the open exchange of opinion are valued and by shielding the research and teaching community from sanctions for exercising academic freedom.

• consider a broad range of criteria to reward and incentivise research quality as the fundamental principle of scholarly research, and ascertain assessment processes and methods that accurately reflect the vast dimensions of research quality and credit all scientific contributions appropriately. EUA and Science Europe will launch activities to further engage their members in improving and strengthening their research assessment practices. Building on these actions, both associations commit to maintaining a continuous dialogue and explore opportunities for joint actions, with a view to promoting strong synergies between the rewards and incentives structures of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities….”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

EUA and Science Europe have issued a joint statement on the need for research funders and research performing organisations as well as universities to combine their efforts to develop and implement more accurate, transparent and responsible approaches to scholarly research assessment.

 

Representing a vast section of Europe’s research and higher education system, EUA and Science Europe are committed to working together on building a strong dialogue between their members with a view to improving research assessment methodologies….”

Short statement from the SG of AAU on Open Access to all HEIs on the continent | Association of African Universities

“Policies:

* In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.

* faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.

* Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints

* all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.

* all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book. This is compatible with charging a registration fee for the conference.

* all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. For example, see the list of what journals can do….”

Robustifying Scholia: paving the way for knowledge discovery and research assessment through Wikidata

Abstract:  Knowledge workers like researchers, students, journalists, research evaluators or funders need tools to explore what is known, how it was discovered, who made which contributions, and where the scholarly record has gaps. Existing tools and services of this kind are not available as Linked Open Data, but Wikidata is. It has the technology, active contributor base, and content to build a large-scale knowledge graph for scholarship, also known as WikiCite. Scholia visualizes this graph in an exploratory interface with profiles and links to the literature. However, it is just a working prototype. This project aims to “robustify Scholia” with back-end development and testing based on pilot corpora. The main objective at this stage is to attain stability in challenging cases such as server throttling and handling of large or incomplete datasets. Further goals include integrating Scholia with data curation and manuscript writing workflows, serving more languages, generating usage stats, and documentation.